The Great Airborne Bake-Off

The icing on the cake came under scrutiny as 16 Air Assault Brigade chefs held their annual Christmas Cake decoration competition.

From a pile of presents to polar bears, the event demonstrated the skills of Army chefs who are more used to cooking in the field than icing cakes. Lance Corporal Rebecca Blackwood, a chef with 8 Parachute Field Company Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was named the winner with her cake featuring a winter-inspired decoration of snowflakes and icicles.

After judging, the 18 cakes entered in the competition were donated to the children’s ward at Colchester General Hospital, Colchester Emergency Night Shelter and old people’s homes in the town.

It gives our chefs a chance to do something a bit different to show off their creativity and wider skills.

Warrant Officer Class 1 Ollie Rogers, the Brigade’s head of catering, said: "A Christmas cake competition is something of an annual tradition for chefs across the Army. It gives our chefs a chance to do something a bit different to show off their creativity and wider skills.

"Cake decoration isn’t part of our junior chefs’ training, so it’s a good challenge and some people find that they have a talent for it. I’ve been really impressed by the ideas and effort that has gone into all of the cakes and it’s been a difficult competition to judge.”